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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘physical sciences retractions’ Category

Doing the right thing: Physicists retract paper after becoming aware of “a fundamental error”

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prl-bannerThe authors of a paper in Physical Review Letters have retracted it, after another researcher pointed out a mistake.

F. Sattin and D.F. Escande write in the notice for “Alfvénic Propagation: A Key to Nonlocal Effects in Magnetized Plasmas” (which is behind a paywall) that after the paper was published, they “we became aware of a fundamental error in the normalization of our equations.” Excerpt: Read the rest of this entry »

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Expression of Concern tarnishes copper oxide paper

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jmcacoverArticles, like lawn furniture, aren’t supposed to rust after just two months. But the Journal of Materials Chemistry A has issued an Expression of Concern for a February 2014 paper by a group of chemists from India over possible problems with several figures in the article.

The paper, “Hierarchically macro/mesostructured porous copper oxide: Facile synthesis, Characterization, Catalytic performance and Electrochemical study of mesoporous copper oxide monoliths,” was written by Gowhar Ahmad Naikoo, of the department of chemistry at Dr. Hari Singh Gour Central University, in Sagar, and two colleagues. It purported to find that:

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Scientists, do you feel bullied by critics? These chemists do

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Bruce Eaton, via UC-Boulder


Daniel Feldheim, via UC-Boulder

A new site, Stand Up 2 Science Bullies, launched last week:

http://www.standup2sciencebullies.com is a forum for scientists to share their experience and provide advice pertaining to scientific bullying.  We welcome questions and comments from all scientists including students, faculty, and members of industry.  We sincerely hope that this forum will serve as an informative resource for scientists who feel that they are being treated unfairly by other scientists.

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Written by ivanoransky

April 2, 2014 at 9:30 am

Duplication in physics journal questions key tenet of quantum mechanics

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cmpHere’s a physics question: How is it possible to be in two places at the same time?

Answer: Submit the same manuscript twice and hope the editors forget to feed Schrodinger’s cat.

The journal Condensed Matter Physics is retracting a 2013 paper by a Ukrainian scientist who’d published essentially the same paper seven years earlier.The article was titled “On the origin of power-law distributions in systems with constrained phase space,” and was written by an E.V. Vakarin, of the Institute for Condensed Matter Physics, in Lviv UMR 7575 LECA ENSCP-UPMC-CNRS.

According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

“Unable to dispel the doubts,” authors lose protein structure paper

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ebjA suggestion: If you’re going to use the words “overestimated accuracy” in the title of your paper, you’d better make sure you aren’t guilty of the same yourself.

A group of authors in China has lost their June 2013 paper in the European Biophysics Journal because they appear to have misinterpreted their data.  The paper, “Overestimated accuracy of circular dichroism in determining protein secondary structure,” came from chemists at Fudan University in Shanghai, and purported to find that:

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SK Sahoo notches sixth retraction

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am&IChemist Sanjeeb Kumar Sahoo, of the Institute of Life Sciences in Bhubaneswar, India, has earned his sixth retraction for image shennanigans, this time in Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Sahoo, as we reported last year, had lost five articles in Acta Biomaterialia  for what the journal called “highly unethical practices.”

The latest retraction involves an article titled “Composite Polymeric Magnetic Nanoparticles for Codelivery of Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Anticancer Drugs and MRI Imaging for Cancer Therapy,” which first appeared online in 2011 in AM&I, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

The paper has been cited 40 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

March 19, 2014 at 8:00 am

Author who broke into lab to tamper with investigation now up to half a dozen retractions

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Bioconjugate ChemistryKarel Bezouška, the scientist who tried to tamper with an investigation into his work by breaking into a lab refrigerator, has had his fifth and sixth papers retracted.

Here’s the notice from Bioconjugate Chemistry for 2012′s “Dimerization of an Immunoactivating Peptide Derived from Mycobacterial hsp65 Using N-Hydroxysuccinimide Based Bifunctional Reagents Is Critical for Its Antitumor Properties:” Read the rest of this entry »

Doing the right thing: Authors retract lubricant paper whose findings they can’t reproduce

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wearcoverThe journal Wear — an Elsevier title, not a Condé Nast fashion magazine — has retracted a paper by a pair of Chinese physicists after the researchers were unable to replicate their findings.

The 2009 article, “Microstructure and tribological characterizations of Ni based self-lubricating coating,” was written by authors from the MOE Key Laboratory for Nonequilibrium Synthesis and Modulation of Condensed Matter and the MOE Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration at Jiaotong University, in Xi’an. It purported to find that: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

March 14, 2014 at 10:30 am

Authors of “just make up an…analysis” Organometallics paper issue mega-correction

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organometallicscoverBack in August we — and otherswrote about a paper in Organometallics for which one member of the study team appeared to have instructed a co-author to pad the article with artificial results. From the supplemental information (SI) of that paper:

Emma, please insert NMR data here! where are they? and for this compound, just make up an elemental analysis…

Now comes a correction statement from the group that can only be described as “mega.” First reported last month by Chemical & Engineering News, the lengthy notice begins: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

March 4, 2014 at 8:00 am

Leading chemist notches two retractions in one journal, separated by 47 years

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inorganica chimica actaA leading chemist at the University of Washington, Larry Dalton, has retracted a 2004 study in Inorganica Chimica Acta, marking his second retraction in the journal in 47 years.

Here’s the new notice: Read the rest of this entry »


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